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Johne

Writing About Christian Themes For the Mainstream

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In today's SoCal Christian Writer's Conference, my friend Mike Duran talked at length about how to write for the mainstream from a Christian worldview. In this slide, he references a quote from author Tom Pawlik.

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"it's possible to write about ghosts or aliens (thing that don't fit neatly in a biblical worldview) and yet tell a story that upholds Christian virtues."

 

Amen!

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My most recent mainstream submission features a telepath but upholds the values of trust in and compassion towards others who are different than you. I’ve gotten pushback from a Christian due to the telepath (1 of 2 MCs). I don’t connect it to occultic forces in any way. She reads minds and plants thoughts to distract. I don’t feel I’m glorifying it in any way or taking away from God’s glory by it. Thoughts?

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2 hours ago, SpecFictionGuy said:

My most recent mainstream submission features a telepath but upholds the values of trust in and compassion towards others who are different than you. I’ve gotten pushback from a Christian due to the telepath (1 of 2 MCs). I don’t connect it to occultic forces in any way. She reads minds and plants thoughts to distract. I don’t feel I’m glorifying it in any way or taking away from God’s glory by it. Thoughts?

 

 

You could always reframe the "telepathic" ability as a largely unknown, and mostly underdeveloped sense in most human beings.  The character in question could have a genetic anomaly where that sense is highly developed.  That would steer away from the occult.

 

This is actually not too far from the truth.  When you speak to Autism experts, they'll tell you that most people have more than 5 senses, and that with autistics, one or more of those 5 "unknown" senses tend to be fairly well developed.

 

And yeah, that was a surprise to me as well.  Well, in retrospect, it's not that much of a surprise.

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Yes it is possible - much of our lives face decisions or incidents which have a christian angle to them. 

 

The problem is the suspicion with which 'christian writing' is viewed by both non christian publishers and reader alike. CS Lewis Narnia series worked because he 'hide' the christian element in full view of the non-christian reader.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Shamrock said:

CS Lewis Narnia series worked because he 'hide' the christian element in full view of the non-christian reader.

 

And also because he was a gifted storyteller. ;)

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You know, I'm reluctant to say this, but since my stroke, I don't remember who C.S. Lewis is anymore.  He wrote something called the Chronicles of Narnia, I think?  What's it about?

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1 hour ago, suspensewriter said:

You know, I'm reluctant to say this, but since my stroke, I don't remember who C.S. Lewis is anymore.  He wrote something called the Chronicles of Narnia, I think?  What's it about?

Ohh... You get to read them for the first time, then! 

 

Narnia is a fantasy world and children from our world enter our from time to time. While there, these children learn important lessons about life, God, and many other things through the adventures they have there. Some of them encounter witches, one tale has them sailing east into uncharted waters to find seven lost lords (the voyage of the dawn treader), and yet another has a child traversing a desert with a talking horse in order to warn Narnia of an enemy's impending attack (the horse and his boy).

 

I've heard that C. S. Lewis at out to show a specific aspect of Christianity in each of the 7 Chronicles of Narnia. Thus, The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe (book number 2) deals with salvation, and the last battle (book number 7) with the end of the world. 

 

C. S. Lewis didn't only write the Chronicles of Narnia. One of his other famous works is the Screwtape Letters, which takes a look at temptation from the perspective of a demon... 

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Let me add that CS Lewis also wrote what is known as The Planets series: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. These are intended for adults, but meet general fiction standards for their time.

 

He was an Oxford don and a Christian apologist, a friend of JRR Tolkien and founding member of the Inklings, a British writing group.

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And despite the fact that he wrote some time ago (and is considered a classic, which we have decided people today would not read), he is worth reading!

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Well, I haven't written as much lately, because my daughter put me back to work on my blog. I don't seem to have as many hours in the day as you seem to have.

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